Sedation Dentistry La Jolla

If you’re looking for a sedation dentist in San Diego that goes above and beyond to deliver a soothing and comfortable dental experience, look no further than Dr. David Sabourin.

Working with a board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Sabourin offers customized sedation services based on your unique needs and the type of surgical procedures you’re undergoing.

In our tranquil and elegant La Jolla dental office setting, your visit will be more comfortable and enjoyable than you ever thought possible!

What is Sedation Dentistry and How Can It Help?

According to the American Dental Association, 22% of people avoid going to the dentist due to dental fear, although some studies cite even higher figures.

Common issues include worrying about an injection or procedure perceived to be painful, the discomfort of keeping one’s mouth open for an extended period of time, or the need to undergo multiple procedures.

Sedation dentistry is simply using pharmacological agents to calm and relax patients prior to and during dental visits to allow for more comfortable dental procedures.

In addition to alleviating dental fear, a big advantage of sedation dentistry is that most patients feel like their dental procedure lasted a few minutes, even if it took a couple of hours. Dental anesthesia also enables being treated in one visit for lengthier procedures, so it’s a perfect option for full mouth dental implants and smile makeovers.

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

Small oral health issues that go unchecked can eventually turn into big ones. Studies show dental fear increases the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and early tooth loss.

These issues can affect your ability to eat, drink, speak, and socialize, while advanced gum disease is associated with worsening symptoms in people with diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease.

If dental anxiety is preventing you from getting the dental care you need, you’ll benefit from receiving sedation dentistry in La Jolla.

Dr. Sabourin recommends sedation for patients who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Any degree of dental anxiety
  • Sensitive gag reflex or teeth
  • Low pain threshold
  • Resistance to local numbing agents
  • Undergoing multiple or complex treatments
  • Trouble sitting through lengthy appointments
  • Past traumatic dental experiences
  • A fear of needles and shots
  • Aversion to the noises, smells, and tastes associated with dentistry

Different Types of Sedation Dentistry Offered

1. Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is a type of medication used to prevent oral pain in the area being treated. In some cases, a topical anesthetic is used to numb an area before injecting the local anesthetic into your gum tissue or cheek. Lidocaine, articaine, prilocaine, mepivacaine, and bupivacaine have replaced Novocaine (procaine) because they’re far safer. These medications work by blocking nerves that sense or transmit pain, thereby numbing the treatment site and sometimes the adjacent tissue.

If you’ve had a cavity filled, you’ve likely experienced facial numbness from a local anesthetic injection that lasted up to a few hours after treatment.

2. Nitrous Oxide

Commonly called laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a colorless gas mixed with oxygen that you inhale through a small mask that fits over your nose. Nitrous oxide is an ideal option for alleviating mild to moderate dental anxiety and helping you relax. While under nitrous oxide, you remain conscious and experience a sense of well-being or euphoria.

After the nitrous oxide is turned off, you breathe in oxygen only for a few minutes. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly and many patients have little memory about the procedure. This type of sedation doesn’t produce any lingering side effects, so you can drive yourself home.

3. Oral Sedation

This is sometimes referred to as oral conscious sedation because it induces drowsiness and significant relaxation, although you remain conscious. Oral sedation is beneficial if you have mild to moderate levels of fear and anxiety and an added benefit is that you likely won’t remember much about your procedure.

Oral sedatives called benzodiazepines such as Valium, Halcion, and Xanax work by decreasing activity in the parts of your brain that control fear and anxiety. It’s common to take one pill an hour before a procedure, although some patients also take a pill the night before to reduce worrying about treatment. Your vital signs are closely monitored during treatment. Due to lingering drowsiness, somebody will need to drive you home.

4. Intravenous (IV) Sedation

Our board-certified anesthesiologist administers a sedative medication through a thin needle placed into a vein in your arm or hand that helps you relax and feel comfortable. IV sedation is a safe and ideal option whether you have severe dental anxiety or are undergoing more complex treatments. During the procedure, all your vital signs are closely monitored to ensure your comfort and safety.

The amnesic effects of the drug make you forget the procedure, which is an excellent benefit if you suffer from dental anxiety. As with oral sedation, somebody will need to drive you home.

5. General Anesthesia

As the strongest type of sedation, general anesthesia is an ideal option if you have severe dental phobia or are undergoing lengthy, complex treatment. During the procedure, our board-certified anesthesiologist administers the anesthesia and closely monitors your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. General anesthesia induces an unconscious state, therefore you won’t be able to respond nor feel any pain during your procedure.

General anesthesia side effects can last for up to 12 hours, therefore a designated adult must accompany you to our office, stay during your procedure/recovery and drive you home.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

In the hands of our highly trained San Diego sedation dentist and board-certified anesthesiologist, sedation dentistry is very safe.

With that said, it’s important to follow basic recommendations to reduce the risk of uncommon complications.

General anesthesia causes sleepiness and relaxation, so it also causes your stomach and throat muscles to relax. That’s why it’s necessary to avoid eating or drinking anything for a minimum of six to eight hours prior to getting general anesthesia. This is commonly midnight the night before your procedure.

How Much Does Dental Sedation Cost?

The cost of sedation dentistry depends on the level of sedation and number of dental appointments required. Local anesthesia is typically included in the treatment cost and nitrous oxide and oral sedation are generally quite reasonable.

The cost of IV and general anesthesia administered by our anesthesiologist is based on the duration of your treatment. General anesthesia may be covered by insurance if there is a medical need.

Dr. Sabourin will provide an estimate of costs at your first visit to help you determine the best option to meet your unique needs and financial situation.

Why Choose Dr. Sabourin for Sedation Dentistry?

Rest assured, when you choose Dr. Sabourin, who is a highly trained sedation dentist in La Jolla, our entire team goes above and beyond to ensure your treatment is as gentle and comfortable as possible.

Although every person is prone to developing similar oral health issues, Dr. Sabourin understands that each patient who walks through the doors of his practice has unique concerns. As such, he’s dedicated to providing highly personalized care, including addressing different levels of dental anxiety.

Schedule Your Sedation Dentistry Consultation Today

When you become a part of our patient family, Dr. Sabourin gets to know you so he can truly understand your needs and focus on delivering customized, fear-free dental care. Leveraging his more than 35 years of experience and the latest technologies, Dr. Sabourin’s goal is to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile for life in an amazingly soothing setting!

To discover what sets our San Diego sedation dentistry practice apart from the rest, schedule a consultation. During your visit, we’re happy to tell you more about how soothing sedation can help you get the top-quality dental care you deserve.

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